Mary Jo Assi, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN

Associate Chief Nursing Officer

One thing we often see when we are spending time in a hospital, and I have been there myself as a clinician, is that we focus too much on the scores. It’s the first thing we see and the first thing we respond to. What we have learned is that is not the way we want to approach this work. We don’t lead with the scores. We lead with the behaviors to implement best practices, and the scores will follow.

Professional Biography

As Associate Chief Nursing Officer, Mary Jo Assi leads strategies for strengthening caregiver resilience and engagement, reducing patient suffering and delivering compassionate, connected care. 

Prior to joining Press Ganey, Mary Jo was Vice President of Nursing Practice and Innovation at the American Nurses Association. While serving in this capacity, she led the organization’s strategic initiative to develop a Center of Innovation to promote and support best practices for enhancing the nursing work environment. Prior to this work, she led additional ANA initiatives focusing on quality care and patient and nurse health, wellness and safety, including Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation; Scope and Standards of Nursing Practice; and Healthy Work Environment. 

During her more than 35 years of nursing experience, Mary Jo has held a variety of different roles, including clinical nurse, nurse educator, advanced practice nurse and nurse executive. She also has held key administrative positions in community-based and urban academic medical centers, including Director of Advanced Practice Nursing and Director of Professional Practice, and she has led multiple system-wide initiatives designed to improve the quality and safety of care and resulting in significant improvements in core measures and nurse engagement scores, as well as reductions in length of stay and hospital readmissions. In addition to serving as an ANCC Magnet® Commissioner for six years, Mary Jo was a Magnet Program Director in a large academic medical center, where she worked with nurses at all levels of practice through nursing’s shared governance model to develop and maintain standards of excellence while improving nurses’ work environment, satisfaction and retention.


Mary Jo has published on a broad range of topics, including quality, safety and nursing leadership, and has presented both nationally and internationally on topics ranging from nurse staffing to the application of data and research to the practice setting, enhancing the practice and work environment and caring for the caregiver. She is an adjunct professor at Florida Atlantic University where she teaches in the Doctoral Nursing Program on Measurement and Evaluation.

Mary Jo graduated from the Pace University Family Nurse Practitioner program in 1998 and earned a doctoral degree in nursing practice from George Washington University in 2014. She became an American Academy of Nursing fellow in 2016.

Mary Jo Assi is responsible for leading strategies to improve the health care practice and work environment, strengthen caregiver resilience and engagement and deliver compassionate, connected care. During her 35-year career in nursing, Mary Jo has led several groundbreaking nursing initiatives at the national level, including the creation and launch of the American Nurses Association’s Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation Grand Challenge, a social movement aimed at improving the health of the nation’s 4.0 million nurses.
Speaking Topics
  • Culture
  • Data, Quality & Innovation
  • High Reliability Nursing
  • Inter-professional Collaboration
  • Magnet® Journey
  • Nursing Leadership
  • Performance Improvement
  • Practice and Work Environment
  • Resilience and Engagement
  • Team-based Care
Selected Articles & Publications
Recent & Upcoming Engagements
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